A man and his tools, make a man and his trade

-Vita Sackville-West

For every creative or problem solver, your efficiency is dependent on the quality & effectiveness of your tools. Knowing the right tool to use, at the right moment, for the appropriate purpose, can immensely boost your productivity & result. This applies to Search engine optimization (SEO) as well.

As a SEO Expert, or SEO practicing individual, it is a no-brainer, that it is almost impossible to rank top on Google SERP, without using at least one Google product or tool. 

Hence, the need to be familiar with necessary Google SEO tools that could guide, and provide you with necessary information, data & insight for informed decision-making, becomes paramount.

Without further ado, here are the

13 Google SEO Tools You Need To Start Using Yesterday

 

1. Google Search Console

To appear on Google search engine result pages, your website needs to be crawled and indexed by Google. 

How does this work? Google does this, by the aid of its bots which combs the web, for new web pages & tries to understand what those pages are about. Your indexed page gets shown on SERP, if the content on your page provides some of the best info for the searched queries.

To get your web pages crawled faster, you need to create a sitemap and submit the url to Google via the Google Search Console. To do this you need to first understand how to add the Google Search Console to your website.

The sitemap is basically a list of links to all your web pages. It automatically updates when a new page is created. This makes it easily for Google to index your pages faster. For modified or updated contents, you can also submit their web page(s) url for indexing.

Sitemaps can be created via CMS plugins or sitemap generators. There are many tools for creating a sitemap. For WordPress Users, the Yoast plugin offers this feature as well as other SEO functions.

2. Google Analytics

Without big data, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out unto the web, like deer on a freeway.

-Geoffrey Moore

The key to effective decision making is to have the ability to gather and analyse data. That is what Google Analytics does for you. By linking your website to Google Analytics, you gain the ability to collate, store, process, analyse and report data about your website.

Grouped into 4; Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour & Conversion, these data provide general and precise insight into your Users (Bounce Rate, Session Duration, Demographic, Location, New & returning) and Traffic (Source, Page Views, Keyword searches).

With these data, you can gain insight into what you are doing right or wrong, why your traffic is dwindling or improving, what location brings the highest traffic, why your number of new users is declining,  why your bounce rate is increasing, just to mention a few.

You can significantly improve your SEO, by making guided and effective decisions, by analysing and exploiting these data.

3. Google Page Insight

In SEO, speed is the name of the game. Google wants it’s users to not only have the best answers to queries, but to also get them as fast as possible. Hence, the reason Google takes page load speed into consideration when ranking search results.

To compete for that first result page, you have a fast loading website. 

Google developers have come up with a tool to help analyze your website speed and give insights into how to fix issues that contribute to your slow website. That is the Google Page Insight.

Through the “Lighthouse Scoring Guide”, page speeds are categorized and color coded into three: 0 to 49 (slow), 50 to 89 (average), and 90 to 100 (fast). Naturally the green speed range is what you should strive for.

The question now is, how do i get a 100% Page Speed Insight score (green)? Is it possible, yes, but getting to as close to a 100% is more than enough. 

Some of the ways to optimize your page speed is to always use compressed images of exact needed sizes, enable browser caching, avoid too much page redirections, and minify HTML, Javascript & css files. 

For the non-technically savvy, this might seem daunting. But thanks to some tools, you can easily achieve this. For instance, some popular caching plugins for WordPress are WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache.

4. Google Test My Site

Google Test My Site is one of the features of the Think With Google Initiative. It is similar in function to the Google Page insight. It analyses your web page speed, but in this case, it only gives information about your mobile web page speed. 

You can also choose to analyse your mobile page speed using different country servers and network connections ( 3G or 4G). No 5G for now. 

It gives a rating corresponding to your mobile page speed, namely, SLOW, AVERAGE, or . All color coded, as shown.

It does a lot more than just rate your mobile page speed. After analysing your site, it identifying the issues causing the decline in load speed & recommends what and what you need to do to fix them.

You also have an option to “Benchmark & Evaluate”, that is, compare your mobile page speed with other websites, e.g. with competitors. Documented report on analysed site, with recommended fixes, can also be generated and sent to mail.

5. Google Keyword Planner

Anyone with the slightest of SEO knowledge, understands the importance of keywords research. Having an in-depth and updated knowledge of search density & competitive nature of your target keywords, can guide you on what best SEO strategy to adapt.

Listed under “Planning”, the keyword planner is one a very powerful tool of Google Ads. The default function of the keyword planner, is to provide information on keywords, about their average number of searches and how competitive they are. Also provided are bidding price ranges of each keyword from low to high.

This tool however, provides a lot more insight than these. With a skilled knowledge of how to use the google keyword planner, you can make more informed decisions in your SEO campaign strategy. 

With the recent update, the Google keyword planner offers benefits such as;

  • Discovering new trends in keywords from search queries.
  • Finding non-competitive keywords you initially focus on & rank for.
  • Using the forecast feature, which gives insight into performance of keyword-specific Ads.
  • Knowing what words or phrases constitute negative keywords, that could affect your Ad displays.

6. Google Site Kit

As of year 2020, 35% of all websites in the world are known to be powered by WordPress. What an incredible stat! Guess it is a no-brainer, that Google specifically developed a WordPress plugin, acting as a complete integration package for Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Page Insight & Google AdSense.

This plugin saves you the stress of Integration by code insertion or TXT verification. With a simple click of a button, you can easily integrate the above mentioned Google tools.

With its own dashboard, the Google Site Kit offers firsthand information and stats on  traffic density and source, search performance, page view and site speed. All data that can provide insights into site performance, that can help you optimize your SEO strategy. To get more detailed data & information, you can visit, through attached hyperlinks, dashboard pages for each tool.

7. Google Trend

Morphed from Google Insights for Search, Google trend is a platform that provides search trends data on keywords or search queries, across regions, over a period of time. Simply put, this tool shows you the decline or surge of interest (searches) of a keyword over time. 

Google Trend is a great tool for keyword research. You can make comparative keywords analysis on bases of Periodic Interest Trends and Regional Search Volumes.

As one of the many tools of Think With Google, you can do a lot more with this tool than the above stated. For example, depending on the selected region, you can view Daily Search Trends, as well as, Realtime Search Trends. Just like Twitter’s trending hashtags, you can get information about trending issues and queries, even in real time.

8. Google Safe Browsing 

One of core factors considered by Google for ranking is website security. Any website that is insecure (unsafe domain), prone to phishing and riddled with malware, is penalised, SEO wise, by Google. 

The Google Safe Browsing Tool is a feature of Google Transparency Report. With it you can check and confirm your website safety.

The diagnostic feature of this tool is quite helpful, as it lets you know what threat your website is exposed to and how to resolve such issues.

Trustworthiness is an attribute all websites must possess. That is why any organisation / business that wants to take SEO seriously, must acquire SSL Certificates (HTTPS) for their website. This ensures that any data transfer from user(s) to your website is secured and safe from hackers.

9. Google Alert

Google alerts is an extremely powerful tool for season SEO Experts or Consultants. To put it simply, this tool sends to your email, periodic alerts / notifications on new results from your selected keyword or search query.

Why is the Google Alert relevant to SEO? Any individual with substantial SEO knowledge understands the importance of Guest blogging and Backlink Building. With the Google Alert, you can use advanced Google search operators to create targeted alerts for new websites accepting Guest Blogs and new articles from top websites (e.g news sites ) where you can request links to related content.

Mastering the use of this tool can help immensely in your SEO strategies or decision making.

Should You Limit Yourself To Just Google SEO Tools?

You must understand that for every of these Google SEO tools there are alternatives (third-party tools) that perform the same functions, and sometimes even provide better insights or functionality.

It is however left to you to choose a tool that satisfies your need. Bear in mind, that some of these tools are not free, and to access all features, payment by subscription or OTP might be required.

Examples of Popular Google SEO tool alternatives are Wordstream Keyword Tool, Piwik Pro (Web Analytics), GTmetrix (Page Speed Test and more), Sucuri (Site Security) e.t.c.